One of my favorite flavors of summer is basil, and this basil and cheese dip is absolutely delicious, perfect for appetizers or to add an irresistible touch to a melted cheese sandwich.
Tip for preparing this dip:
Preparing this basil dip is very simple, and you just need to pay attention to one detail: make sure the basil leaves are dry and free of stems because if they are ground with the dip, they will oxidize and give the dip an unappealing dark green color.
As always when using nuts, I recommend toasting them before adding them. You can toast the walnuts at 200°F in the oven for 5 minutes or in a dry pan over very low heat. This will enhance their flavor and make them even more crunchy.
When using fresh garlic in a recipe (although you can simply omit it if you prefer), it’s important to peel it, cut it in half lengthwise, and remove the germ in the center. This will help to reduce its strong flavor.
What to serve with and when to use this basil dip:
If you enjoy traditional basil pesto, you definitely have to try this basil and cheese dip. It has a similar flavor, but since it uses cream cheese as a base instead of oil, it has a thicker consistency, making it ideal for spreading on breadsticks, toast, or even rustic potatoes. It’s perfect for a summer appetizer paired with an Aperol Spritz or a raspberry mojito.
Storage and shelf life:
If you want to prepare this basil dip in advance, there’s no problem. It keeps well for up to a week in the refrigerator. I recommend storing it in a glass container and adding a drizzle of olive oil on top to prevent oxidation and discoloration. However, if it does oxidize and turn black, it’s not a big issue. Simply remove the darkened layer before serving.
One of my favorite flavors of summer is basil, and this basil and cheese dip is absolutely delicious, perfect for appetizers or to add an irresistible touch to a melted cheese sandwich
- 1 approximately 8 oz package of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves washed and thoroughly dried (otherwise, the paste may turn black)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts in small pieces
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped (optional)
- Salt and white pepper to taste
In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, garlic cloves (if using), basil leaves, and half of the walnuts. Process until you obtain a smooth paste.
Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining walnuts.